Broncos HC Sean Payton on No. 1 QB Trait: 'Quick Processors' - Sport News

Broncos HC Sean Payton on No. 1 QB Trait: ‘Quick Processors’

If Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton could somehow manufacture his own Frankenstein’s monster of a quarterback, a clone of Drew Brees would be the end result. Brees’ fantastic ability to make quick reads and deliver the ball on point led to unparalleled success for both head coach and quarterback in New Orleans.

Broncos HC Sean Payton on No. 1 QB Trait: 'Quick Processors'

However, one area of Brees’ excellence is not a skill that is immediately obvious when studying collegiate game tape. Consequently, Payton’s forthcoming evaluation process figures to be both diligent and demanding for the contestants.

Payton’s experience working with Brees also serves to establish the high water mark for what he’s looking for in his next signal caller. The Broncos head coach isn’t afraid to set his requirements ahead of free agency and draft activities commencing.

“I think it’s important that they’re quick processors,” Payton told the Jim Rome Show from radio row. “Let me give you an example; this was a strength of Drew’s. It’s a strength of [Patrick] Mahomes. These guys have to operate quickly in six or seven seconds. It’s the hardest thing for us to evaluate.”

Payton’s wish list does more than lay out the core skills he’s looking for in his future quarterback, and it goes a long way toward setting Russell Wilson’s impending departure in motion. Ironically enough, it was Brees himself who recently revealed that he didn’t see an offense in Denver last season that resembled what Payton traditionally fields, and much of that rests on Wilson’s strengths and limitations as a quarterback.

“As I watched them play this year, it didn’t feel like the timing, the rhythm, the tempo that I’m used to seeing in a Sean Payton offense,” Brees explained to Mike Florio and Chris Simms of NBC Sports. “And I know those are the hallmarks of the offense. That’s the standard that’s been set.”

Payton embarks on his own road to Damascus on Monday because that’s when the Broncos begin discussing the plan under center moving forward. One can safely assume that any quarterback who doesn’t meet Payton’s exacting standards will be struck off his list quickly.

Even the likes of USC’s Caleb Williams or UNC’s Drake Maye would need precious time and plenty of intensive coaching before they could operate efficiently within the full range of Payton’s system. Whichever way you slice it, the next quarterback in Denver will be a longer-term project that Payton may expect.

That will also increase the chances that Payton will be looking for a quarterback who is perhaps less physically gifted but is intelligent and accurate above all else. Remember that processor. Perhaps drafting No. 12 overall isn’t so bad after all, especially if the board falls favorably on April 25.

The Broncos’ quest to unearth a quarterback with Payton’s well-defined and specific skill set will be done on the coach’s terms, and it won’t be dictated by what spot the team is picking in Round 1. Discovering and drafting Brees Mark II is somewhat beyond the realms of the plausible, as Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks are few and far between.

That being said, the main components that make a similar passing monster will be saved in Payton’s memory bank for all time, and there could be a few candidates in this class with similar strengths.

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